Love is always in the air on Valentine’s Day. Having a romantic dinner with your “significant other” is one of the most memorable ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day. This is the 5th year sharing my favorite picks for romantic restaurants in the area featuring many well established icons along with some new additions. All of these local family owned restaurants have the ambiance that will make your Valentine’s Day celebration very special.
CAFÉ GOODFELLAS-702 State Street, New Haven, and CT 06511- 203-785-8722 -www.cafegoodfellas.com –Featuring award winning Italian food prepared to perfection & elegant service. Chef/Owner Gerry Iannacone focuses on simple farm fresh ingredients coupled with traditional Italian cooking in an atmosphere where customers have a great time.
CARMINE’S TUSCAN GRILL RISTORANTE – 1500 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, CT 06515- 203-389-2805-www.carminestuscangrill.com. Located in the Amity section close to the Merritt Parkway exit 59, Carmine’s is a very well established popular restaurant offering old country charm and exquisite dining with the ambiance of Italy in the Westville section of New Haven. The food and service are superb.
CONSIGLIO’S – 165 Wooster Street, New Haven, CT 06511 – 203-865-4489-www.consiglios.com. The time has come to “Rediscover” Consiglio’s. The longevity of this restaurant speaks for itself-can you believe 1938! Consiglio’s is the perfect example of the “Little Italy” restaurant offering warm, cozy, romantic ambiance, flawless service and, of course, the outstanding food. You must experience Consiglio’s Dinner Theatre & Cooking Classes. A fun evening for a group or that special date for two.
JEFFREY’S RESTAURANT BY CLAUDIO – 501 New Haven Avenue, Milford, CT 06460-203-878-1910 – www. jeffreysofmilford.com. Jeffrey’s Restaurant has an excellent reputation for outstanding food and service. The intimate lounge offers a fireplace and piano. Many evenings you will find guests dancing and being serenaded by owner Claudio himself. He is a true gentleman and the ultimate host with a gift of making his customers feel like they are very special and part of his family.
GABRIELE RISTORANTE ITALIANO- 326 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT 06477 – 203-799-2633 – www.gabrielect.com. They have been going strong since 1973 with many local and high profile regular customers. Lovely newly renovated interior, great lounge and consistently good food.
GAETANO’S ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE-1573 Boston Post Road, Milford, CT 06460 -203-783-1766-www.gaetanosonline.com – You will feel like you are dining in an outdoor café in Tuscany with all meals cooked to order by their awarding chef. Live entertainment is offered most evenings with talented pianist Ray Cranshaw.
OLA RESTAURANT – 350 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT 06477 – 203-891-0522-olarestaurantct.com. This special Latin inspired restaurant is definitely the talk of the town (or should I say more like the tri-state area). Brothers Melvin and Wagner Lopez along with their lovely spouses Andrea & Cherry opened Ola in July of 2007. After almost seven years in Orange with little advertising but a lot of word of mouth, incredible reviews including the New York Times, Ola’s business is booming. They also have an Ola Restaurant on 694 Brooklawn Avenue in Bridgeport as well.
RAINBOW GARDENS RESTAURANT & BAR – 117 North Broad Street, Milford, CT 06460 – 203-878-2500- www.rainbowgardens.org – Rainbow Gardens Restaurant & Bar is the quintessential example of a quaint & cozy New England family owned restaurant but with all the modern amenities. The dining area offers a series of private areas for that intimate cozy dinner. The view of the Milford Green is spectacular through large picture windows with stained glass accents.
SOLUN TAPAS BAR & RESTAURANT-245 Amity Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525 – 203-298-9741 www.soluntapasbar.com – Definitely a “hidden gem” in Woodbridge & is now more popular than ever. Owner Carols Hernandez shares his passion for tap cuisine in a traditional & elegant style. Solun’s cozy bar is definitely on the top my list for a fun evening.
WHEELERS RESTAURANT & TAPROOM-180 Amity Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525 – 203-553-9055-www.wheelers-new haven.com. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch & happy hour. The owners buy as much as possible from local producers to showcase and support the many diverse products offered from beers to bread to meats and produce.
WOODBRIDGE SOCIAL RESTAURANT, PIZZA & BAR-12 Selden Street, Woodbridge, CT 06525 – 203-553-9135 – This beautifully renovated location features great food, friendly service -open 7 days serving lunch, dinner, brunch & happy hour.
FINAL NOTES: These are just a few of my favorite “romantic spots” in the area that offer great food and service. Reservations are a must for all these popular restaurants. Please remember to support our local family owned businesses. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ALL and don’t forget the romance! If you have a favorite restaurant e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com.